Edison Medical Malpractice Lawyers
When you put yourself in the hands of a medical professional, you expect a high standard of compassionate care: a doctor who will pay attention to your needs, listen to any problems you may have, and help you constructively address them. You may not always have the positive outcome that you hoped for, but you still expect your care team to do its best to provide you with the best care possible.
Unfortunately, sometimes, doctors, nurses, and medical device companies may commit errors that lead to serious injury to the patient. If you suffered injuries due to medical malpractice, contact Edison Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today for a free consultation about your right to compensation.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, Can Help
If you suffered a serious injury due to a medical malpractice error our Edison personal injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can help you pursue a medical malpractice claim and seek the compensation you deserve for those injuries.
Our past case results include:
- An $8,323,000 settlement in a birth medical malpractice event that caused cerebral palsy
- A $5,000,000 verdict in a nursing home medical negligence claim
- A $4,000,000 verdict for medical malpractice during pregnancy that resulted in the loss of twins
- A $3,000,000 settlement when a new mother died six days after a routine vaginal delivery
- A $1,600,000 settlement for a client whose OBGYN failed to detect cervical cancer
- A $1,475,000 settlement awarded to a client whose doctor failed to diagnose breast cancer despite clear evidence
The results of our past claims cannot guarantee the results of future medical malpractice claims, even for clients who may have very similar claims. However, our attorneys bring our dedication and determination to every medical malpractice claim we handle for our clients. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we focus on providing comprehensive legal assistance and support to all of our clients.
“They are helpful and they try hard to finish with your case as soon as possible they do communicate well with you I would refer them anytime for anyone” – Gloria P.
We Help Investigate Your Claim
Often, medical malpractice may involve a complex investigation into the circumstances of your illness or injury: your symptoms, your diagnosis, and whatever treatment you received. We may connect with expert witnesses who can help evaluate your case and determine whether the doctor who oversaw your care committed a serious error, either in issuing an incorrect diagnosis or in failing to provide you with the care and support you needed.
We Help You Understand the Compensation You Deserve
After suffering medical malpractice in Edison, New Jersey, whether you visited a Hackensack Meridian provider, JFK University Medical Center, or went through care from a private physician not affiliated with a hospital, we can help you understand the compensation you may deserve for your injuries and suffering. Often, a doctor or medical care facility’s medical malpractice insurance will pay out the compensation that patients deserve for medical malpractice claims.
Those insurance companies may put patients under a great deal of pressure to accept a low settlement offer, whether they try to convince you that you do not deserve additional compensation or that you should accept an offer fast lest it disappears.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we help provide our clients with an assessment of the compensation they really deserve for their injuries, which can make it easier for them to make critical decisions about when to accept a settlement.
We Can Take Over Negotiations
Dealing with negotiations and talking to the medical malpractice insurance company can leave you struggling to deal with unnecessary stress. Sometimes, insurance companies can put unnecessary pressure on you. Other times, you may feel as though they accuse you of seeking compensation you do not deserve or of exaggerating your injuries. An attorney can help take over those negotiations on your behalf, reducing your stress levels and freeing you to manage the medical aspects of your injury.
Medical Malpractice: Defined
Medical malpractice can occur when a patient suffers a serious injury because of negligence or omission on the part of a doctor, hospital, or medical professional. To qualify as medical malpractice, a claim must include:
A Doctor/Patient Relationship
To have grounds for a medical malpractice claim, you must have a doctor/patient relationship with the doctor who caused your injuries or the facility where medical malpractice occurred. Suppose, for example, that you suffered significantly worse symptoms of illness because of misdiagnosis by your primary care physician. That physician, and not others in the practice, may bear liability for your injuries.
The Doctor’s Negligence Caused Specific Injury
To file a medical malpractice claim, you would need to show that the doctor or facility’s negligence caused a specific injury in some way. For example, suppose that your doctor mistakenly misdiagnosed the type of infection you suffered, but the type of treatment you received caused you to recover normally anyway. You may not have grounds for a medical malpractice claim, since you did not suffer injury in any way.
On the other hand, if the misdiagnosis caused you to suffer more serious injury than you would have suffered had you received a proper diagnosis, including going through side effects related to the wrong treatment or suffering the symptoms of your ailment longer than usual, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
The Doctor Should Reasonably Have Avoided the Error
In some cases, doctors may commit errors due to a simple lack of available information.
Suppose, for example, that you come in with general symptoms of illness. You do not have characteristic markers of a specific illness, so your doctor diagnoses you with something else. Later, it comes to light that you have another serious illness, for which you have not received treatment. However, examination of your initial symptoms shows that the doctor could not reasonably have known that you had symptoms of the other illness, so you may not have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice in Edison, New Jersey
Medical malpractice can occur any time a doctor causes injury to a patient due to negligence or omission. You expect a high standard of care when placing your care in the hands of medical professionals, and doctors must provide that standard of care. They take an oath to “harm none” when accepting their medical licenses, and failing to offer adequate care to a patient can violate that oath. Often, medical malpractice falls into one of these common categories.
Birth injuries include any injury that occurs to the mother or child during the childbirth process. Often, doctors can prevent birth injuries with proper medical monitoring, including attention to fetal heart rate, maternal distress, and contractions.
Birth injuries may include:
- Bruising on the baby
- Facial paralysis
- Nerve injury, including brachial plexus injuries and Erb’s palsy
- Skull fractures
- Brain damage
- Cerebral palsy
- Wrongful death
Often, birth injuries occur because of unnecessary interventions during the birthing process, including the use of forceps, Pitocin, or unnecessary C-section. In other cases, birth injuries may occur because the doctor fails to put necessary interventions in place in time to save the mother or child.
Failure to Diagnose
You visited your doctor with a clear list of symptoms that should have resulted in a relatively easy diagnosis. Unfortunately, your doctor may have brushed aside your concerns or failed to identify the symptoms of a serious illness or injury.
For example, sometimes, emergency room doctors might miss the presence of a broken bone in initial X-rays, but later discover the clear presence of a break. In the meantime, lack of treatment could result in a worsening injury or illness. In the case of the broken bone, for example, the patient might do further damage to an injured limb, which could result in the need for surgical intervention, nerve damage, or ongoing pain for the rest of the patient’s life, rather than a relatively easy healing process.
While failure to diagnose usually results in a lack of diagnosis, misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor issues the wrong diagnosis instead of the right one. Frequently, the doctor will also prescribe a specific treatment related to the incorrect diagnosis. That may mean that the patient must go through the side effects related to that treatment while still suffering from the symptoms of the original ailment. In addition, sometimes, that treatment can actually worsen the initial ailment, which can cause serious, ongoing problems for the patient.
Surgical errors can cause serious injury to the patient. Sometimes, surgical errors may include anesthesia errors, such as not giving a patient enough anesthesia to keep them out throughout the procedure. Other times, surgical error may result in never events, which involve severe, often catastrophic injury to the patient.
Never events may include:
- Leaving items behind in the patient’s body after the surgery
- Operating on the wrong organ or limb
- Causing severe injury to the patient during surgery
Failure to Inform
To decide on a safe, effective course of medical treatment, patients need to know what they may face as they move forward with that treatment. Not only must doctors let patients know about their diagnoses and the recommended course of treatment, they should provide clear information regarding what side effects or risks the patient might suffer because of those treatments.
Sometimes, a course of treatment may result in worse symptoms or side effects than the initial problem the patient faces. If a doctor fails to provide a patient with the information they need to make an informed decision about whether to move forward with treatment, the patient may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Medical Device Errors
From pacemakers implanted to help control heart rate to artificial joints designed to help improve overall patient mobility, medical devices serve a wide range of purposes that aid in patient care and help to improve quality of life. Unfortunately, some of those devices do not function the way they should. In some cases, they may cause more serious issues for the patient than they originally experienced before choosing to use that device.
Sometimes, medical device errors can lead to permanent disability or patient death. Frequent errors in a medical device may lead to recalls for that device. However, some patients may suffer serious injuries long before a recall takes place.
Prescribing a medication can involve a complex process, from choosing the right medication for a patient’s specific symptoms to ensuring that a patient has no known allergies to that medication. Not only that, patients need to take medications in specific amounts related to their weight to help ensure that they do not overdose. Medication dosage errors can cause serious errors, including death, for patients.
Who Bears Liability in an Edison, New Jersey, Medical Malpractice Claim?
Dealing with an Edison, New Jersey, medical malpractice claim will start by identifying the party liable for that act of malpractice. Liable individuals usually include a doctor or facility that has a direct relationship with the patient.
Most often, a doctor who commits severe errors may bear liability for that act of malpractice. Doctors usually carry medical malpractice insurance, which can help provide compensation for the injuries you may have sustained.
The Facility Where Malpractice Occurred
Many facilities can bear liability for medical malpractice incidents. The facility may bear liability when a nurse or other staff member commits an act of medical malpractice. A facility that directly employs a doctor, especially one that regularly commits errors that result in medical malpractice, may also bear liability in a medical malpractice claim.
The Manufacturer of a Device or Medication That Causes Serious Injury to a Patient
Medical device manufacturers and medication manufacturers must conduct careful testing to help ensure the safety of their materials. Not only must device manufacturers ensure the immediate safety of their devices, they must test them to help ensure safety over time. Medication manufacturers must carefully test their medications to help ensure that they remain free of potential contaminants. If they fail in these duties, the manufacturers can bear liability for any injuries patients suffer.
Edison Medical Malpractice FAQs
If you have questions about your medical malpractice claim in Edison, New Jersey, we can help. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today to learn more.
1. If a doctor treats me without my consent, resulting in serious side effects, do I have grounds for a medical malpractice claim?
In general, doctors must provide you with a clear assessment of the risks associated with a potential course of treatment and give you the right to decide whether you want to take those risks. For example, you may have the option of undergoing a surgery that could reduce some of the symptoms of serious illness, but discover after the fact that it led to severe consequences, which may cause you to have more lifelong difficulties than the initial condition.
Likewise, some medications may cause side effects that are worse than the illness itself. If a doctor provides treatment without your consent, or pushes you into a course of treatment without giving you adequate information about it, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
On the other hand, a doctor can provide life-saving medical care without consent from the patient, including emergency procedures that may result in serious consequences for the patient. For example, if a doctor treats an unconscious trauma patient, they do not first have to procure consent from the patient or even the patient’s relatives.
Likewise, a doctor may not have to obtain consent to provide additional treatment during an existing procedure if they have established that they will move forward with whatever care the patient needs during that treatment. For example, before some surgical procedures, the doctor may not know exactly what care the patient will need to have the best possible odds of recovery until they open the patient up and take a look. In that case, the doctor may choose to provide the treatment they deem most necessary without seeking additional consent from the patient.
2. What damages can I recover from a medical malpractice claim in New Jersey?
When you file a medical malpractice claim, the damages you ultimately recover can depend on the extent of the injuries you suffered due to the doctor’s negligence.
The compensation you receive would typically fall into the same general categories.
- Medical costs. Often, medical malpractice can lead to substantially increased medical costs. You may have faced significantly increased medical costs because of a misdiagnosis, since you may have had to go through two sets of treatments: one for the incorrect diagnosis, and one for your actual diagnosis. Not only that, medical malpractice often leads to significant overall medical costs, including treatment for all the procedures you went through. Those costs can add up fast, especially if the medical malpractice event led to long-term ailments.
- Lost wages. Medical malpractice can make it impossible for you to go back to work on your usual schedule or to manage your usual work responsibilities. In many cases, you may need to remain in the hospital to recover from your injuries. In other cases, you may lack the energy or the ability to work. Sometimes, medical malpractice can even lead to a permanent loss of employment, since you may no longer have the ability to handle your former work tasks. As you file a claim for medical malpractice, you could include the wages you lost as part of that claim.
- Pain and suffering. In addition to compensation for tangible financial losses, your medical malpractice claim may include compensation for pain and suffering related to your injuries. Often, medical malpractice leads to considerable pain and suffering: not just physical pain, but also mental anguish, especially in the case of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. You may wonder why you do not seem to improve, even when you follow the proper course of treatment and work with your doctor to the best of your ability. Most medical malpractice claims include compensation for the pain and suffering as well as compensation for actual financial losses.
3. If a loved one dies from medical malpractice, can my family file a wrongful death claim?
If your loved one could have filed a wrongful death claim against the entity that committed malpractice against them, had they lived, the surviving family may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim after their death. You may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim if the medical malpractice led to your loved one’s death and you have a direct relationship to the victim. Usually, the closest family members have the first right to file a wrongful death claim: first the surviving spouse, then any surviving children. If the deceased has neither spouse nor children, surviving parents may have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
Suppose, for example, that your loved one died because of misdiagnosis: they went in with a specific set of ailments and described them to the doctor, but the doctor failed to properly treat those ailments. As a result, your loved one died. Your family may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim that will help provide compensation for your loss.
A wrongful death claim usually includes:
- Compensation for any medical bills the deceased accumulated before death that relate to the medical malpractice event
- Compensation for the deceased’s pain and suffering
- Compensation for final expenses, including a funeral and burial
- Compensation for the loss of the loved one’s wages and services performed for the family
- Compensation for the loss of the loved one’s presence in the family’s life, including the loss of companionship and advice
4. If a doctor makes a mistake or neglects my care while treating me in an Edison hospital, can I sue the hospital?
Most doctors work for hospitals as independent contractors, rather than as employees of the hospital. That’s why doctors usually carry their own medical malpractice insurance, through which you would file for compensation following an act of medical malpractice.
However, you may have grounds to sue the hospital for a doctor’s act of medical malpractice if:
- The hospital does not clearly indicate the doctor’s non-employee status
- The doctor is an employee of the hospital
- The hospital gave staff privileges to a doctor known to show frequent incompetence or to put patients in danger regularly
5. How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim?
As a general rule, if you plan to file a medical malpractice claim against a doctor or facility that has caused serious injury to you or a loved one, you need to file before the statute of limitations runs out. However, you may have grounds to extend the statute of limitations on your claim even if the statute of limitations has ended. Contact an attorney to learn more about whether you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim and how long you have to file.
6. What should I do if I suspect a doctor has misdiagnosed me?
If you think you suffered a misdiagnosis due to negligence on the part of a doctor, act fast to protect your overall health as much as possible.
- Seek a second opinion. When possible, do not let the second doctor know that you have come to seek a second opinion about your existing diagnosis. Instead, present the doctor with your symptoms and any other evidence, and let the doctor make a diagnosis based on that information. Do inform the doctor about any medication you have taken or treatment you have undergone before seeking a second opinion, which could inform the diagnosis.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible. Do not wait to contact an attorney who can help you manage a medical malpractice claim. Instead, get in touch with that attorney as soon as possible after you realize you may have suffered medical malpractice. An attorney can help you learn more about your legal rights and move forward with a medical malpractice claim if needed.
7. The doctor’s insurance company contacted me and offered me a settlement for my medical malpractice injuries. Should I take it?
Medical malpractice insurance exists to help protect doctors against the potential financial implications associated with a medical malpractice event. While it does provide payment for the victims of medical malpractice insurance, its primary purpose generally protects the doctor, rather than the patient. Thus, the company may not offer you the compensation you really deserve in the event of a medical malpractice event and claim.
The insurance company may offer you a fast settlement after the accident, but that settlement amount may not reflect the full compensation you really deserve for those losses. Talk to an attorney before accepting a settlement offer from the medical malpractice insurance company, since an attorney can provide you with a better idea of the compensation you deserve for those losses.
8. Who do I sue if a nurse’s error results in medical malpractice injuries?
In a hospital or long-term care setting, nurses provide much of the care needed by patients every day. In fact, nurses often have more contact with their patients than doctors do, especially in hospital settings. Doctors may come in for big moments or to evaluate the patient and provide a diagnosis and instructions for treatment, but nurses often take over providing those daily treatments, including administering medications.
Unfortunately, New Jersey nurses often struggle with overwork and lack of adequate staffing, which can increase the risk of natural human error. Nurses may administer the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, leading to significant impacts for the patient. Nurses may also fail to offer necessary medication or miss signs of distress in a patient, which could lead to a lack of treatment.
When a nurse bears liability for a medical malpractice error, generally, the patient should seek compensation through the hospital for those damages. If the nurse works through a staffing agency and has a history of causing serious complications for patients, that staffing agency may bear liability for the patient’s injuries.
9. Why do I need an attorney to deal with a medical malpractice claim? Can’t I just handle it myself?
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we focus on providing a high degree of dedication and excellence for our clients, including the legal advice they need to make effective decisions regarding their claims. Our attorneys have helped clients successfully navigate all the details of their claims, from finding all entities that may share liability for a medical malpractice event to working with our clients to ensure that they fully understand the compensation they deserve. In many cases, we have helped clients successfully increase the compensation they receive for their injuries. Working with an attorney can also substantially reduce the stress associated with your claim.
10. Do nursing home injury and abuse claims count as medical malpractice claims?
Unless the injured individual received direct medical care in a nursing home or medical care facility, including the incorrect administration of medication or an improper diagnosis, nursing home injury and abuse claims usually fall under their own category. However, you could have grounds to file a claim if you or a loved one suffered severe injury or abuse in a nursing home. Contact an attorney as soon after that event as possible to learn more about your right to compensation and how to file a medical malpractice claim.
Do You Need an Edison Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
If you suffered serious injuries due to medical malpractice, a medical malpractice attorney can help give you a better idea of your right to compensation and provide you with the advice you need to successfully navigate your claim. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today at (732) 287-6890 or start a live chat with one of our representatives at any time for your free case evaluation.
Edison, NJ 08817
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“I’m really grateful for the settlement my lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers helped me to obtain. I was badly hurt when another driver crashed into my card. The driver was careless. My team at Jacoby & Meyers didn’t let the reckless driver get away with it. I’m really glad I made the call to Jacoby & Meyers and would suggest anyone hurt in a car crash do the same.”
Review by: Jose V.
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